Albert Joyce Riker

In his intellectual lifetime, Joyce’s work brilliantly tackled a plethora of scientific disciplines, from his widely-read publications on the causes and prevention of tree diseases to being an early innovator of the cultivation and harvesting of poplars for wood pulp. He authored the highly esteemed, “Introduction to Plant Diseases,” and was the recipient of numerous awards and honors bestowed upon him for his immeasurable contributions to science.

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Wooden Duck Decoys

Some have argued that art imitates life, while others say that life imitates art. Native Americans would have agreed with both positions. When the colonists first came ashore in North America, they observed Native Americans using mud, cattails, and other organic materials to craft imitations of ducks and other fowl. These decoys would attract live water fowl, which hunters would then capture or kill.

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Whoopee Cushion History

The dinner host politely motions you to “have a seat,” as they pull the chair away from the dinner table. As you gracefully make your way down and into the chair, it happens. The Command Fart―a pocket of air that has been chambered for an extended period of time, waiting for just the right moment to be released for maximum effect.

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Five Stages of Inebriation

Photography has long been used as a tool for journalists, artists, marketers, and organizations to convey messages of realism and truth. The Photographers Association of America once explained that people “believe what the camera tells them because they know that nothing tells the truth so well. Read more

Don’t let the cynics fool you: Coca Cola didn’t invent Santa Claus. They didn’t create the modern image of Santa, either. Let’s get that out of the way off the bat. Contrary to urban legend, Santa was already a jolly fat man dressed in red and white long before Coke got their hands on him.

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Red Poppies In Flanders Fields

While the United States honors its military veterans every year on November 11th, this year is of particular note, as it coincides with the 100-year anniversary of Armistice Day and Remembrance Day. Observed throughout Europe and Canada, these holidays celebrate the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the “war to end all wars” came to a merciful close. Read more

Tintype Photographs

At the peak of their popularity, the tintype photograph captured the blank, unfocused gaze of Civil War soldiers, along with the solemn expressions of their worried loved ones. Inexpensive, small, lightweight, and durable, several tintypes could be conveniently tucked away in a soldier’s jacket pocket, making them a favorite memento among fighting men. Read more

Top-Hand Dairies

Growing up in Kansas, some of my fondest memories were those made on my grandparent’s farm. My grandfather worked in the oilfields, farmed, and performed other odd jobs to support his family of six. My dad, who passed several years ago, told me the story of how my grandfather helped clean up an old dairy located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma that closed in the 1960’s.  Read more

Is it legal to collect, metal detect, or dig for artifacts?

Over the past few years, there’s been a rash of aggressive police raids and legal action taken against artifact collectors and hobbyists. This has been part of a national effort to enforce laws prohibiting private citizens from illegally obtaining and collecting cultural artifacts―predominantly Native American artifacts.   Read more

Who Owns Archeological Artifacts

The question “who owns archaeological artifacts?” isn’t one that’s easily answered. The United States, and each state within, has its own laws concerning ownership rights to archaeological artifacts. Most of these laws, like the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, have a distinct year that separates which objects belong to the federal or state government, and which are permissible to be lawfully owned by the public. Read more